If you are lucky, you will land over eight shades of turquoise, not just one, on your approach to the island of Bimini.  Although one shade is enough to dazzle any weary traveler in need of some restorative Caribbean sun, eight, well, eight makes you realize you’ve just won the vacation lottery before your holiday has even begun.

Bimini is a miniscule 7-mile-long island just 50 miles off the coast of Miami. It is relatively unknown to most, shadowed by its more trendy Bahamian neighbors such as Nassau and Paradise Island which boasts the enormous Atlantis resort.  But those looking for something slightly undiscovered yet coaxed with luxury and authenticity will do well by checking Bimini instead.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

South Florida residents can start the adventure via Tropical Airways, an airline whose mere name will get you in the vacation spirit.  Board the 8-passenger seaplane and fly low above the ocean before landing right on the gorgeous Resorts World Bimini property.  Seeking a more conventional flight service?  Silver Airways launched flights this summer from Tampa & West Palm Beach, and perhaps most notably, Elite Airways launched a new nonstop flight from Newark to Bimini, making it the first time New York City area travelers can travel directly without having to stop to connect in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. South Florida residents can also take a 2-hour ferry from Miami to the island.

Stay, Play, and Relax

Resorts World Bimini is a 750-acre premier luxury beachfront resort that serves as the most luxurious springboard for Bimini bliss.  Spanning approximately half the island, it features two luxurious infinity pools (including an adults-only pool on the rooftop) with spectacular views of Bimini’s turquoise waters as well as the Serenity Spa and Salon located on the fifth floor offering a wide selection of therapeutic body massages, and nourishing body wraps, as well as hair styling, makeup, and nail services.

Rooms at the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini are elegant and modern with 1 king or 2 queen-sized beds, floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious bathrooms, and balconies to enjoy the surrounding beauty. For those seeking a more secluded, high-end experience, the hotel offers its Exclusive Suites, located on the first floor, which include a private patio leading to the resort’s pristine lagoon pool.

The Winner Takes It All

Something about being on this laid-back, utterly beautiful piece of the world makes you feel lucky, so it is a good thing there is a casino in the resort. At 10,000 square feet, it offers popular tables games with competitive table limits, including Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, and Roulette, over 160 slot machines, a high-limit gaming salon, and a Sports Book, all surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows offer inspiring views of the resort’s Mega Yacht Marina, which allows guests to literally sail right up to the casino doors.  The casino’s restaurant, Hemingway’s, offers an in-casino gourmet burger made with the famous Bimini bread, a local specialty bread that is slightly sweet and very soft.

Best Beach Party

If you are here to soak up the rays at the beach, the resort’s latest hangout, Luna Beach, beckons. Take the trolley, your own personal golf cart, or a brisk walk to the luxury lifestyle hotspot created by Miami nightlife connoisseurs Michael Capponi and Eric Milon. Lounge on luxury beach chairs under solar-powered cabanas as you sip on gourmet cocktails and enjoy Bahamian dishes created by Chef Bruno Egea. Watch the breathtaking sunset over Paradise Beach during Sunset Sessions, where DJ Arlette spins tracks till nightfall.

Explore and Dine

Adventurers wanting to venture off-property will love what Bimini has to offer.  Rent a golf cart or bicycle and tour the island’s exquisite white sand beaches. Snorkel the legendary SS Sapona Shipwreck (a partially submerged, nearly 100-year-old wreck) then follow with a sampling of local fare like Bimini Bread pizza at Edith’s (go for the lobster pizza!) or conch salad (made to order right from Bimini Bay) at Stuart’s Conch Shack. You’ll notice men and women all over the island casually emptying conch from their shells, leaving mountains of perfectly formed seashells behind.  This is the way of life for many, providing the slightly sweet meat that will be served with freshly minced peppers, onions, and lemon juice. Make sure to sample the local beer, Kalik, said to be named after the sound cow hooves make strolling by.

History’s Great Connection

History buffs will want to pay a visit to the island’s legendary historian, boat maker Ansil Saunders, and learn how this charismatic 86-year-old’s friendship with the great Martin Luther King Jr. had a direct impact on American history. He has a few tales of grandeur to offer as well, such as nabbing the record for the largest bonefish caught.  Don’t know what bonefish is?  Get comfortable, Ansil will be happy to tell you all about it.  (Be sure to ask him about meeting the Queen of England as well!)

An Art Lover’s Stop

Art lovers will be in awe of the island’s famed Dolphin House, built by artist-in-residence, Ashley Saunders as a tribute to the artist’s love of dolphins.  The museum is a work-in-progress solely utilizing recyclable materials found in Bimini, with sand, conch shells, stones, and sea glass.  The awe-inspiring rooms are also available for rent, should you care to sleep amongst the multiple shrines to Flipper and his friends.

Whether you a looking to soak in the sun or explore the island’s unique character, you’ll find the island of Bimini to be a friendly, comfortable, and accessible little-known secret you’ll be happy to have partaken in.